Take a Peek Inside the Annual Holiday Home Tour

It’s almost that time of year again. On Sunday, November 16, 2014 you will have the opportunity to six area homes, which will be decorated for the holidays. The Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library will be selling tour tickets for $25 per person.

Kathy Dorn, this year’s home tour chairperson shared brief descriptions of the homes on this year’s tour.

2441 South Christian Hills Drive

South Christian“This is the house that Al built, back in ‘79”, said Dorn. Al, of course, is still the owner, having built by hand the majority of this tranquil, singular, mid-century modern home with a lovely floor plan that just winds around and then some. The home’s décor is East-Asian inspired. But for the season, we’ll find many “tasteful, but not ordinary” holiday trees and trims. The “unusual” Nativity scene has figures dressed in real clothing; there’s a gingerbread house collection in the kitchen. Inspiration will drive tree choices but could include: an Asian tree; a Mexican/Spanish-themed tree; the “big” tree; the “shoe tree” (trimmed with high heels); the “mall tree” (coined by a child because of “typical” ornaments, seemingly from a mall); or the Native-American tree (purchased at a silent auction and transported home in one piece in the back of a Volvo station wagon).

1988 Blue Grass Court

Blue GrassThis warm, mid-90s home boasts a number of unique, custom-carved mantles, many of them by the owner himself, all “hugely embellished” for the holiday season. The décor is aesthetically appealing, while embracing many interesting items resurrected from flea markets. There will be decorated trees: at least four on the main floor, plus a few others upstairs. There will be wreaths, adorned banisters and other special items, as well as a lighted showcase with a collection of sparkly, “jeweled” trees from all over Europe. Look above the front door for Mr. and Mrs. Claus, showing us how to stay in shape through the holidays. If that isn’t enough, the home will feature a collection of one-of-a-kind, hand-carved Santas, artistically carved and clothed by the late husband of the owner’s dear friend.

3422 Palm Aire Drive

Palm Aire“Christmas is about giving and sharing, and happiness and cheer,” say the owners of this 70’s style colonial. They have so many trees and holiday decorations that they throw a party each year to get help trimming it all with their extensive collection of ornaments. There’s a 12-foot tree in the foyer, and sixteen others plus wreaths and 18-foot garlands. All themed. Hand-blown glass (mostly from Poland), red and white, glass and Swarovski crystal, patriotic, snowmen, glass icicles and snowflakes, Disney, North Pole, houses and cars, Snow Babies, sports, Star Wars/Star Trek, Fairy, and children’s trees. Plus displays with collections of Snow Babies and Hallmark surprises. And their privately special Nativity set, purchased in honor of their engagement, oh so many years ago.

5715 Winkler Mill Road

Winkler MillWalk into this 1900 Dutch Colonial, nestled in the woods on two acres, and you’ll slow down. Feel the serenity and tranquility; notice the home’s character and history. Trims will be natural, including pine cones and bows from the back yard. The main tree will be decorated with ornaments collected by the owner throughout her life. She even made the tree skirt from Calico Fabric 35 years ago. A collection of Danbury Mint ornaments will be on display. You’ll also find a “huge collection” of children’s books, including Golden Books and 20-odd versions of The Night Before Christmas (one of which is autographed by the granddaughter of the author, Clement Clarke Moore.) Finally, you’ll see treasures from her travels, including: a tin angel from Mexico; and Nativity sets from Mexico, Madrid, Honduras, and her beloved mother.

996 Golfview Court

Golfview CourtThis five-level contemporary condo is transformed into a bit of a winter wonderland each year for the Christmas season. After two weeks for set up, with a hired helper, every room will declare “Christmas has arrived.” Most pictures are replaced with something Christmas-y. There is a sizeable Santa Bear collection; as well as a reindeer herd (indoors of course), angels, snowmen, and about 300 ornaments, each one with special meaning to the owner. The dining room table will be set for the season, and there will be a tree in every room. The living room tree is color coordinated, and the main tree on the lower level (which takes 6-8 hours to trim) is filled with memories from the owner’s grandmother, mother, travels, and life stories.

1272 Chaffer

ChafferWalk into the foyer of this lovely, late-80s house and you will be struck by the elegance of the banister and chandelier; and to top off the appeal, it will be completely “decked out” for the holidays. Beyond that, each recently renovated room is tastefully decorated, mixing traditional and vintage, in pleasing colors. Notice the placement of table and chairs for coffee and conversation in the living and family rooms. The kitchen is striking and modern. There’s lower-level storage (of course, it’s private) but the point is that it’s filled with Christmas ornamentation that comes to life during the season. A must-see display, considering year-round household adornments are removed and replaced with festive décor for a style that makes one wish for a cup of hot cocoa while admiring.

“Each year we worry about topping homes from the previous year, but the Friends have come through again like troopers,” said library director Christine Lind Hage.  “This is just one of the fundraisers the Friends sponsor each year and it has proven to be a favorite for many people.”  Last year 500 people attended the event.

The Rochester Hills Public Library is located in downtown Rochester off of University Drive and three blocks east of Main Street.  The Library is open from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 1 – 6 p.m. on Sundays during the school year.  The Library’s website (www.rhpl.org) has information on how to register for a card and access all the Library’s services.

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at sarah@rochestermedia.com.

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